HSE News and Prosecutions – February 2015

Manufacturing firm in court after worker loses arm

A Powys firm was fined £10,000 and ordered to pay £11,865 when a 59-year-old worker lost his arm during routine maintenance on an industrial saw. At the end of his 11-hour shift, the worker shut off the saw and went to clean out all the collected saw dust from the saw well when his sleeve got caught on the still-moving blade. Despite being rushed to hospital, doctors were unable to save the man’s arm. Three months prior to the incident, the company was informed by a machine maintenance engineer that the machine should be taken out of service until it could be fitted with a safety break. After the accident, the company admitted that the accident would not have occurred had they performed the required maintenance.

Paper company fined after worker crushed by reel of paper
A Hertfordshire-based paper company was prosecuted and fined £13,500 and ordered to pay £1,200 after a 45-year-old worker was struck by a 3.2 tonne reel of paper. The worker sustained a double fracture to his pelvis and internal injuries after the paper reel was released into the container he was working in, trapping him between the reel and the bulkhead of the container. For his injuries, the worker spent almost a month in hospital and had to undergo a series of operations—only recently returning to work. The HSE found that the company failed to conduct proper risk assessments of the hazards that the workers would face. Had they performed the simple, compulsory risk assessments, this incident would have been avoided entirely.

Engineering firm fined after apprentice struck by hose
An Aberdeenshire firm has been prosecuted and fined £10,000 after a 16-year-old apprentice was injured when a pressurised hose struck his back. The apprentice suffered bruises and cuts when a hose struck his back while he was retrieving an item from his toolbox. After being taken to hospital, the apprentice made a full recovery and was able to return to work after five days. The HSE found that the incident was caused by the firm not properly outlining the pressure testing area and the court ruled that there was no safe system of work in place to prevent such accidents.